Timor-Leste

Exhumations at East Timor site completed

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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY FRED ECKHARD
SPOKESMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Today in East Timor, UN Police and International Force in East Timor (INTERFET) investigators completed the exhumation of a mass gravesite in Maubara, near the town of Liquica, by examining 10 bodies. Over the past two days, 16 bodies have been exhumed at the gravesite, and 13 of them have been positively identified by family members.

Investigators said after examining the bodies that all had either been shot or stabbed to death. All 16 bodies have now been reburied at the graveyard by relatives.

Also today, a two-day meeting of the National Consultative Council opened with talks on creating a central fiscal authority for East Timor.

United Nations Transitional Administrator Sergio Vieira de Mello urged the members of the Council, who represent a broad span of East Timorese political parties, to move quickly to provide an institutional base for the reconstruction projects that East Timor needs.